Committees Make Progress on Workforce Bills as Crossover Nears

As committees hurried to tie up loose ends before recessing for Town Meeting Day, two major bills dealing with economic and workforce development continue to progress. The Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee devoted less than an hour to the omnibus economic development bill, S.263, focusing instead this week on housing. However, the bill, which contains several Vermont Chamber priorities such as the new relocating employee incentives, is still expected to be finalized before crossover, the legislative deadline for initial passage of a bill. The House Commerce and Economic Development Committee spent significantly more time working through the omnibus workforce development bill, H.703, which includes several Vermont Chamber priorities, such as investments in the CTE system. The Committee is also working to include funding for a program which would allow CTE schools to purchase formerly blighted properties to train their students in construction trades and convert these properties to affordable housing units. The Vermont Chamber is supportive of innovative solutions like this that will train young adults on in-demand skills while increasing the housing stock in the community.